A new addition to 4th Avenue, The Taphouse is the second incarnation of the flagship “pint size pub company” that first started in La Lucia, KwaZulu-Natal, in 2012. Affectionately called a “pub masquerading as a restaurant” by its regulars, The Taphouse combines craft beer with a simple but solid food menu. We caught up with owner, Adrian Muller, to find out more.
The Taphouse’s motto is “Small. Simple. Special.” Can you elaborate?
We’re a family business and we place great emphasis on making our customers feel like they’re extended family members. Quality customer service is vital, as is producing consistently good, fresh food. In short, we strive to do the simple things well.
You have an interesting expansion model…
We aren’t a conventional franchise. Rather, we invest our own money and time in developing talent and teaching willing people. We try to empower young and/or traditionally marginalised industry professionals who are passionate but have limited professional food service experience. We give them the opportunity to have a vested interest in, and ultimately own, a significant share in the business at a fraction of the investment traditionally required.
Who are your success stories?
Sibusiso “Bra Mose” Mhlongo (Parkhurst operating partner) and Siobhan “Chef Shev” Connolly (La Lucia GM) are two people who’ve grown remarkably over the last few years. Bra Mose started in the industry as a scullery and joined us as a waiter/barman at La Lucia. Chef Shev was a talented young chef school graduate with limited experience. Both have displayed “tapitude” and are now key team members.
What is the thinking behind the dishes you serve?
Our bar menu is designed to encourage people to order multiple items to share, while our à la carte menu is generally based on stalwarts with a modern twist – fish and chips, bangers and mash, our range of burgers…. We don’t overcomplicate our dishes or use too many ingredients.
How do you decide what beers to stock?
We try to offer a combination of mainstream and craft/speciality beers, taking customer feedback into account. While we have a longstanding relationship with certain key larger suppliers, we also try and support the “little guy”, particularly if they’re a local supplier.
The space next door has become available and we intend to use it to establish a “Tap Garden” and courtyard to allow for more outdoor seating, which as everyone knows is limited in Parkhurst.
011 026 8968
Words: Catherine Black